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Bf invited his brother on our romantic vacation


somechick272
When He Says He Wants Space | Begin...
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My bf and I have been together for over 2 years. He recently moved 7 hours away from me for a job, so we are doing long distance at the moment and I’ve been struggling with it because I used to see him every day to now only once a month for a few days. So, whenever I do see him, I really value and cherish our quality time together.

A little backstory: my mom and I are going to Vietnam together in August for 2 weeks to visit family. I’m really just going to be with my mom for the first week, and my bf is going to meet me there on the second week and we will do our own thing together in the city while my mom resides in the countryside. While we both anxiously waited for him to get his approval for vacation, I constantly expressed to my bf how much it means to me that he’s going to be with me in the motherland and how excited I am for him to meet my family and learn more about my culture (we are interracially dating). With that being said, just this morning he asked me if his brother can tag along, as a third wheel, with us since he apparently “always wanted to go.”  While I appreciate him asking me, I am still extremely upset because I wanted romantic, quality alone time with my bf. We have many romantic plans such as having dinner on a cruise ship overlooking a nice view.  I feel like I am left in a very uncomfortable and tough situation because this is his brother and it’s his “one” chance to visit Vietnam with someone who can speak the language. But I don’t know what the guy is even thinking cause I would never invite myself to a trip with him and his girl. I really do not like the idea of him tagging along with us everywhere we go..

Will I look like an a-hole if I tell him I don’t want his brother to go? Am I overreacting? Where should I go from here? 

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3 minutes ago, somechick272 said:

I really do not like the idea of him tagging along with us everywhere we go..

I wouldn't either. I would say no, sorry, this is a trip for you and your boyfriend as a couple. I wouldn't offer a long list of explanations either, as it should be rather obvious to your boyfriend why you don't want a third wheel on this holiday. 

That said, I would make it clear that you take no issue with his brother in general and would enjoy an alternate trip with him elsewhere and some other time. The three of you can plan something else once you two are home. 

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13 minutes ago, somechick272 said:

. We have many romantic plans such as having dinner on a cruise ship overlooking a nice view. 

Well at least he asked. Discuss if the BFs brother would be willing to hang out with your mom and family to familiarize himself while you two go do your own thing.

If the brother can keep himself busy, then you two can go off and do whatever you wish. What would the brother's accommodations be?

Three is a crowd, so if the brother can travel around solo or with your family it could work.

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14 minutes ago, somechick272 said:

I am still extremely upset because I wanted romantic, quality alone time with my bf. We have many romantic plans such as having dinner on a cruise ship overlooking a nice view.

Well, just say that to him. There is no need to be OK when you are clearly not. 

Also, does he has any reservations about the trip? Would he maybe be alone at some Hotel and separate from you? Or would he be with you the whole time? I can see him maybe inviting brother so he wouldnt be alone in a foreign country. 

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9 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Well at least he asked. Discuss if the BFs brother would be willing to hang out with your mom and family to familiarize himself while you two go do your own thing.

If the brother can keep himself busy, then you two can go off and do whatever you wish. What would the brother's accommodations be?

Three is a crowd, so if the brother can travel around solo or with your family it could work.

His brother would be tagging along with me and my bf on everything we plan to do. 😐

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Looks like your B/F put you in a tough spot, leaving you holding the bag...so to speak.  Nothing against his brother, but it was your b/f's place to explain that this ia a planned vacation between the two of you.

Obviously he's not putting you first..something to think about,

 

 

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10 minutes ago, somechick272 said:

His brother would be tagging along with me and my bf on everything we plan to do. 😐

That stinks. No to that. Unless he can be an independent traveler tell the BF you would rather it just be you two.

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You might want to give your bf some benefit of the doubt that there may be some miscommunication and misunderstanding on his part on how you see this trip. He might be looking at it as just traveling at large to visit your fam and also do some touristy stuff on the side, so not really romantic. If you see it otherwise, be sure you actually communicate that to him so he understands that.

So I'd take a softer approach and explain that you see this trip as just you and him, romantic type thing and not just an ordinary travel thing. Be sure he gets it. I suspect that once he understands, he'll have no trouble letting his brother know that coming along would not be appropriate and you won't be the bad guy.

When in a relationship, you have to communicate and be sure you are both on the same page. Sometimes you have to double check that.

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As someone who was in a cross-cultural cross-continental family for double digit years, I can say AWESOME that you are getting to introduce your sweetie to your family.  I sure hope he is enthusiastic enough to learn cultural signals, mores, and the basics of the language (please, thank you, excuse me, sorry, and (the most important "yourmom" phrase) this is delicious!

No, the brother should not expect to tag along on all activities.  Me too, always wanted to go to your hometown!  But if it were ME (spinster) accompanying YOU (somechick) on your trip with your boyfriend, here is what I would do:

Let's have a blast going to the airport, flying over, and getting you to your destination (somechick with two bodyguards arriving like a rock star in hometown, wootwoot).  Bow to the potential future inlaws, give host/hostess gift, maybe have a meal, and take off for the capital where I have a super hotel and lots of stuff planned for my week.  Meet back at airport after your trip and fly home with you, glowing with all the adventures I had, happy for yours 🙂.  When I get home I would send a thank you note to your parents for our brief encounter.

What I would NOT do:  depend on you and BF to be my tour guides, ushers, companions, etc.  The whole fun of it for me would be that you guys helped me launch into something that I would be too scared to do myself.  So it's entirely possible that he is not trying to bite on your couple time, he just wants to have an adventure and doesn't know how to manage it himself or even get started.  So the only piggyback is really the framework of your trip, not the content.

I've done tons of things like this on my own (I'm closing in on 60) in Asia, so if you want further suggestions please DM me.

This sounds manageable, somechick, so please don't despair.  It may be just a little ole communication booboo.

All the best and please enjoy your trip home with you guy.  I remember going with mine to his parents' and it was one of the most wonderful trips of my life!

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I would say there’s no sense in being upset. If my brother asked me, I’d run it by my SO because I love my brother and if he wants to go then I’d want him to go, separately. I’d expect my SO to say no, and then I’d tell you brother, “sorry, no can do.”

Don't make it more complicated than that. He asked you so you can, and should, be honest.

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I would counter-ask BF whether 'tag along' means we wouldn't have any romantic days and nights to ourselves.

It doesn't matter that you already know the original answer. You're giving BF the opportunity to change his own mind and take the monkey off your back.

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Bf and brother sound ridiculously immature, just the sort of thing people do to take advantage of a situation. Say whatever you need to say to get your point across and I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. 

Is this LDR going anywhere? What’s the long term plan? 

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I told him no and that he should have never entertained the idea in the first place as it is a trip for me, him, and my family. Not a free for all. His response really upset me. He tried to guilt me by telling me that it’s his brother’s birthday that month. However, he and their friends are already celebrating his brother’s birthday that weekend before he comes, by going to a 3 day music festival. I told him that I was completely baffled and upset that he doesn’t want to be alone with me and would rather bring someone along. He responded by saying that we can have an amazing time with guests and that there is “nothing wrong with it but yeah we’ll go with your decision.” 
 

I’m very upset that he apparently doesn’t see anything wrong with letting his brother come along with us on this trip. He knows how much it means to me. 

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5 minutes ago, somechick272 said:

I told him no and that he should have never entertained the idea in the first place as it is a trip for me, him, and my family. Not a free for all. His response really upset me. He tried to guilt me by telling me that it’s his brother’s birthday that month. However, he and their friends are already celebrating his brother’s birthday that weekend before he comes, by going to a 3 day music festival. I told him that I was completely baffled and upset that he doesn’t want to be alone with me and would rather bring someone along. He responded by saying that we can have an amazing time with guests and that there is “nothing wrong with it but yeah we’ll go with your decision.” 
 

I’m very upset that he apparently doesn’t see anything wrong with letting his brother come along with us on this trip. He knows how much it means to me. 

It’s an extended party for his brother. He seems relatively frog in the well or untraveled, as is his family. It’s odd that his brother would think this is the only opportunity to travel with someone who speaks the language. I’m referring to your first post. Has he never thought of learning conversational language aside from his mothertongue? Or hiring a guide? 

There may be cultural issues and general ignorance. Sorry you’re dealing with this. Let it blow over for now and think about whether you’re both too different or incompatible. It doesn’t seem he understands much.

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1 hour ago, somechick272 said:

I’m very upset that he apparently doesn’t see anything wrong with letting his brother come along with us on this trip. 

Unfortunately he's much more casual about this relationship than you are.

You're looking at it as a serious meet the family and almost honeymoon type of thing and he's just viewing it as "cool, a tour guide for me and my brother".

Step back and reflect if a distance relationship is going to work and if you two are even on the same page.

Unfortunately this rift may make the entire trip uncomfortable. 

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This is his brother jumping up and down with excitement, and your BF appeasing him by asking if he can come along. I do believe he already knows you are going to say no to it. Just politely say sorry but not on this trip, but will do it at another time. That simple. 

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I would have also been someone that asked if my siblings, cousins, friends could go 🤣. When it comes to traveling to different countries, I see it as a once in a lifetime thing, and there's a place to stay with someone who knows all the cool stuff and things to eat and do and see?  Super bonus.  

You could have just said, "not this time, but definitely another time."

The way you responded was one, you don't see your BF's brother as future family.  And two, your BF if a moron who didn't know better.

I think you built up all romance in your head without letting him know.  I mean think about it, your mom will be there the whole time too.  Doesn't translate as romantic to me.

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25 minutes ago, tattoobunnie said:

I would have also been someone that asked if my siblings, cousins, friends could go 🤣. When it comes to traveling to different countries, I see it as a once in a lifetime thing, and there's a place to stay with someone who knows all the cool stuff and things to eat and do and see?  Super bonus.  

You could have just said, "not this time, but definitely another time."

The way you responded was one, you don't see your BF's brother as future family.  And two, your BF if a moron who didn't know better.

I think you built up all romance in your head without letting him know.  I mean think about it, your mom will be there the whole time too.  Doesn't translate as romantic to me.

My mom is going to stay in the countryside with her family while me and my bf will stay in the city, doing our own thing

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How is your relationship overall? Generally speaking, do you feel that he has an ability and natural capacity to understand you, and your feelings? 

I ask because, while I totally understand your frustration, and would share it in your shoes, I get the sense that you're unwilling to give him any benefit of the doubt and consider this might be an issue of miscommunication and different perspectives. It's like you're looking for a reason to confirm that he is not as invested, or as "romantic," along with needing him to admit that he was "wrong."

This, for example...

8 hours ago, somechick272 said:

I told him no and that he should have never entertained the idea in the first place as it is a trip for me, him, and my family. Not a free for all. His response really upset me. He tried to guilt me by telling me that it’s his brother’s birthday that month.

...is kind of a case study in what poor communication looks like.

Rather than share your feelings—that you'd really like for this to be a time for you two to connect one on one while your mom is in the countryside—you scolded him, explained that he was wrong, that he "never" should have done what he did. If in reading that sentence of mine you feel your blood boiling a bit, and an urge to defend yourself surfacing—well, that's why I phrased it as such, to point out how his response kind of mirrored yours. He took the guilt you put on him and threw it back on you, as people often do in emotionally charged moments. 

Is there a plan to close the distance between you two? I just can't help but think that a lot of what you're feeling right now has to do with that distance, and the stress of not having much time together, than the specifics of this trip. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, bluecastle said:

How is your relationship overall? Generally speaking, do you feel that he has an ability and natural capacity to understand you, and your feelings?

I was going to ask the same thing. 

I would not want the brother along, but there seems to be more going on behind the scenes here than an obtuse request to have a tag-along on this holiday. 

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